Cover photo for Elva Katherine Rainey's Obituary
Elva Katherine Rainey Profile Photo
1921 Elva 2023

Elva Katherine Rainey

May 28, 1921 — September 15, 2023

In the early morning hours of September 15, 2023, Elva Rainey passed away peacefully in her home at the age of 102 surrounded by her family. Elva was born in 1921 on the family farm near Kirk, Colorado to Frank and Emma Riedesel, the fourth of five children and the first girl. She attended school in Kirk until the age of fifteen when her father died. With her mother and younger sister, Elva moved to Canon City, Colorado while her older brothers stayed in Kirk to run the farm. She graduated from Canon City High School in 1939 and then attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins for two years. In 1941, Elva returned to Canon City where she worked for the County Extension Agent’s office. During the summers she stayed and worked on her cousin’s ranch along the Arkansas River near Cotopaxi, Colorado. In the early years of World War II, Elva began attending the USO dances at Fort Carson where she met the love of her life, Clarence John Rainey. Most of their courtship was by mail while Clarence served overseas in New Guinea and Burma. They married in 1946 and settled in Pocatello, Idaho, Clarence’s hometown, where they resided for the rest of their lives and raised their family: Emilie, Sandra, Johnny, and Pietra. Elva was a homemaker until 1967 when she began her career as an elementary school secretary, first at Whittier and then at Syringa. She dearly loved her work for the schools, especially with the children, and the children loved her in return. She retired in 1991 and was greatly missed. In her retirement, Elva spent her time caring for her family, spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and being a mother and grandmother to the whole neighborhood. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, well into her nineties, she would bake pies and other goodies for friends and family. Elva was an inspiration to everyone. She was the most generous, caring, loving, and compassionate person we have ever known.


Elva was preceded in death by her husband Clarence, her parents Frank and Emma Riedesel, her brothers John, Marvin, and Ervin Riedesel, and her sister Velma Hammitt. Elva is survived by her children Emilie (Ken) Kanon, Sandra Rainey, Johnny Rainey, and Pietra (Brian Castles) Rainey. Also surviving are her grandchildren Diana Kanon (Jerry Irish), Alex Kanon (Liz), Orianna Rainey, Katie Lupo (Brian), Stephanie Castles and Krista Timm and great-grandchildren: Laila, Kyleigh, Kaia, Lola, Lilliana, and Maddox.


A Celebration of Life will be held for Elva in late May or early June of 2024.


In lieu of flowers, donations in Elva’s name may be made to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital or a charity of your choice.


Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the Tribute Wall tab above. 




To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elva Katherine Rainey, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, June 14, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Luncheon

Friday, June 14, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, June 15, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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